Procurement Technology and the game ahead!

Whether it's cognitive analytics to redefine scenario analysis, crowdsourcing to improve reach and creativity, or mobile analytics to unlock real-time performance management, the potential for these digital solutions to transform the procurement value proposition is considerable.

2019 is an year of pragmatism in supply chain. Technology has come up as a game changer for industries. The groundbreaking advancements in technologies have revolutionized the way of doing things.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution comes with its technological advancements such as IOT, drones, 3D printing, and a plethora of other solutions aimed to increase visibility and accountability. With procurement technology, the supply chain industry is observing a boost in market coordination, new suppliers’ introduction, increase in capacity and speed, minimum risk and lesser human errors.

Latest Key Emerging Trends in Procurement Technology to Watch

1. Next-Gen Analytics and Artificial Intelligence
For a procurement professional to play a more strategic in nature role at an organization, the right set of information at the right time is indispensable to make effective and meaningful decisions. Today, procurement technology blended with artificial intelligence is helping procurement professionals to strategize their insights, recommendations, suggestions and actions as per the market trends and forecasts.
2. End-to-End Solutions
Earlier, separate tools were used by many enterprises for all the functioning of procurement activities. Later “procurement technology suits” came which combined all those different tools together. Today, many business firms prefer this comprehensive spend management tool to optimize their source-to-pay activities.
3. App-like Features
One of the biggest challenges people from procurement sector were facing in the past was the complexity to use those traditional procurement tools.
Traditionally, the user interface of those procurement tools was not much interactive. Today, in this digital era where we are mainly dependent on smartphones and apps, users expect the same level of experience and intuitive user interfaces from the procurement technology system too.
Next-gen procurement applications not only provide functionalities like category rooms, supplier catalogues but also provide supplier networks which allow an instinctive procurement experience and provide real-time supply and demand visibility and performance ratings of suppliers to the procurement professionals.

Benefits of Procurement Technology

Better Operational Performance
With procurement technology, many internal processes can be automated, including purchase order tracking and supplier evaluation. The procurement operations of the firm will be more effective and efficient.
Global Procurement
Procurement technology and tools support various languages, currencies and logistics choices. Procurement applications help procurement professionals to connect with the suppliers globally, given them a wider variety of product and services and the choice of suppliers.
Standardized Workflow
Procurement technology not only provides a system that standardized the workflow but also minimizes the need to drift from the process which creates more process efficiency. Online procurement system allows for a quick and easy implication to the data whenever someone needs it.
With procurement technology, transactions are done through the correct channels and approvals are made wisely in order to ensure that the orders are placed with the right vendors under the contract terms.
Improved Data Accuracy
The chances of error reduce when data is processed electronically. With procurement technology-enabled tools and applications, the document repository can be easily accessed to safeguard contract compliance, in order to minimize data inaccuracy.
With procurement technology, one can easily monitor the activities of who is doing what in the system. One can see who placed a requisition, who approved it and made it a formal purchase order. From approval of purchase to officially placing the order with the vendor, everything is transparent in procurement technology. Next-gen procurement tools keep all the records of the transaction.

The Bottom Line
In the supply chain industry, procurement has started a greater impact on corporate strategy. The demand for procurement technology in enterprises has reached new heights. According to some recent research, 60 percent of firms are seeking additional support for the management of both their direct and indirect expense – the solution is, firms need to optimize their procurement by enabling modern technology and blending their procurement systems with next-gen procurement tools.